Witness appeal after sex attacker strikes twice in Burnley

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POLICE in Burnley are appealing for witnesses after receiving two reports of sexual assaults on schoolgirls in two days.

On Tuesday, police received a call to say a 14-year-old girl was walking along Leyland Road on her way to school when she was approached by a man who pulled down her skirt before running away. The man was described as white, in his 30s, around 5ft. 10in., tall of medium build with broad shoulders. He was wearing a black hooded top and dark jeans and was carrying a mobile phone.

Yesterday, police received a second report to say a second girl, aged 13, who was also walking to school along Leyland Road was subjected to a similar assault. The man in this case was also described as white, around f5ft. 10in. tall, aged in his 20s and he was wearing blue jeans and a dark hooded jacket.

Officers believe the two offences could well be linked and are appealing to anyone who may have seen anything suspicious in the area to come forward.

Detective Inspector Simon Cheyte said: “These incidents, I know, were very distressing for both the young girls involved and we are extremely keen to trace this individual as soon as possible.

“Due to the similarities of the two offences we believe they could be linked. Leyland Road is a busy road and there will have been a good number of people around at those times of the morning so I would urge people to think back and contact us if they have seen anything suspicious.”

Anyone with any information is asked to contact police on 08451 25 35 45 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.